The man who stirred the hornet’s nest of Silicon Valley tech companies a few years ago and made them cough up their diversity reports is back for more.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson and his nonprofit organization Rainbow Push Coalition have sent an email to 25 large technology companies, including Google, Facebook, Tesla and Oracle, calling on them to release information on their hiring practices, board diversity measures and employee retention statistics in addition to their latest diversity data.
“Patterns of exclusion and minimal participation continue,” Jackson said in an interview with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. “They’re obviously not using their strength to recruit and retain people of color.”
The ask comes on the heels of the deadline last week for these companies to submit their EEO-1 forms – reports showing the demographic breakdowns of their workforce – to the federal government.
Several large tech companies including Google and Apple already release the diversity data they report to the federal government every year. Some companies such as Yelp released their EEO-1 report only once in 2014 in response to pressure from Jackson but haven’t released them since.
Others including Oracle release basic pie charts showing information such as how many women are in their workforce, but nothing on the race breakdowns of their employees. Companies such as Tesla and Palantir release little to no data about their workforce at all.
Jackson asks tech companies to release their latest numbers for 2017 and continue to do it every year.
Some large tech companies responded to Jackson’s pressure campaign in 2014 by releasing their demographics for the first time. Now, he wants more. He wants to know who is sitting on the boards of these companies, who is employed in the C-suite, who the companies are hiring and how they’re doing with retaining minorities. He also wants companies to release gender and race breakdowns of suppliers and contractors.
The email was sent in partnership with community programs and research centers working on tech equity, including Hidden Genius, Kapor Center and Greenlining coalition.
Getting companies to release diversity data has been an uphill battle that advocates including Jackson and newsrooms including Reveal have been working toward.
“Goodwill is not enough,” Jackson said. “Their promises are empty.”
Last year, Reveal surveyed 211 large tech companies based in Silicon Valley, asking them to release their EEO-1 forms. Reveal put together a collection of data from 23 companies including Pinterest, Square and 23andMe, companies that released their data for the first time.
Most of the companies Reveal surveyed – including Tesla, Oracle and PayPal – haven’t released their EEO-1 forms yet.
Reveal reporter Will Evans contributed to this story.
Sinduja Rangarajan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @cynduja.